Freedom From Religion Foundation Law Student Essay Contest

March 15, 2025
Awards Available: 10

Scholarship Description

Prompt: Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, stakeholders have been urgently working to bring what litigation challenges remain to protect and secure reproductive freedom. While FFRF has argued that abortion bans impermissibly codify a particular religious belief—that life begins at conception—in violation of the Establishment Clause, courts have been unwilling to consider that argument as a means for invalidating laws restricting abortion. However, in light of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, there is renewed interest in arguing Free Exercise rights and/or religious rights protected by state versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a means of invalidating such laws and protecting the rights of people who feel their religion compels them to obtain, perform, or facilitate an abortion.

Scholarship Details

  • Contest Name: FFRF Law Student Essay Contest
  • Membership Benefit: 1-year complimentary student membership to FFRF
  • Publication Opportunity: Winning essays may be published in Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper

Eligibility Criteria

  • Eligible Participants: Ongoing law school students at North American law schools
  • Graduation Eligibility: Students graduating by spring or summer of the year of application are eligible
  • Ineligibility: Students starting law school for the first time in the fall of the year of applicationare not eligible
  • Previous Winners: Students who have previously received an FFRF law student essay award cannot re-enter

Application Process

  1. Consider the essay topic: "If you could create a 28th Amendment what would it be?"
  2. Write an essay of no more than 1,500 words (excluding footnotes) double spacing, standard margins, and font size between 11 to 14 point.
  3. Include page numbers and your chosen essay title on each page, indicating the word count at the end.
  4. Cite sources using footnotes.
  5. Submit your entry and agree to allow FFRF to print winning essays in Freethought Today and post them on the FFRF website. Be prepared to provide a suitable photograph for publication if you win.

You may not re-enter if FFRF has already awarded you for a law student essay. Essay must be no longer than 1,500 words (not including footnotes), double spaced, standard margins, and font size 11 to 14 point. Include your name and title of your essay on each page. Choose your own title. Pages must be numbered. Indicate word length at end of essay. Scholarship Search